Hedef KIZILELMA Belgeseli | 1. Bölüm

Hedef KIZILELMA Belgeseli | 1. Bölüm

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MARCH 14TH, 2023 ÖZDEMİR BAYRAKTAR NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CAMPUS Mehmet Ali was able to finish one run. We’re going for the last tour! After a serious injury, I realized that, now that I’m 43 years old, from now on… 135. …I won’t be able to survive without sports. 143.

So I've started exercising more regularly. 162. Are we done? Mehmet Ali finished it. Nice one! It was good.

It was paced. Off you go, now. God bless you. Thank you so much. Oh, welcome.

What does "Kızılelma" mean? From past to present, Kızılelma has been the ideal of our nation. Kızılelma is the ultimate goal that keeps moving further away as you approach it. Since the first day of our venture into unmanned aerial vehicles, our ‘Kızılelma’ has been to build our country’s very first unmanned fighter jet. A CONNERMAN PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH FINE CUT PICTURES February 16th, right? -Come on! -Tell me the airspeed. Türkiye can become the top player in the unmanned aerial vehicles industry within just five years if projects and initiatives like this receive due support. April 29, 2016. The target has been completely destroyed.

How many Turkish drones are you deploying? We have enough. They made a new video to celebrate the Bayraktar UAVs in Ukraine. We are raising funds for three Bayraktars to help Ukraine. Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs make headlines in the UK. Pakistan purchases seven Bayraktar Akıncı Tactical UCAVs from Türkiye.

The initial delivery of TB2 drones to Poland has been completed. You can only be successful once the top level’s vision is transformed. If they decide to support local entrepreneurs like Nuri Demirağ in their efforts to manufacture domestically, then you can see national high-tech development and production. That makes you independent and powerful. What’s the next move? Cezeri – the flying car.

We have Cezeri’s maiden flight coming up. Then comes our unmanned fighter jet project toward 2023. Let’s see when they’ll fly. AUGUST 30, 2022 TEKNOFEST SAMSUN The Kızılelma is one of the most photographed products by almost everyone here.

This is the prototype that will fly. When will we see them in the air? Hopefully, our goal to fly the Kızılelma, our nation’s first unmanned fighter jet, in 2023. Our republic’s centennial. In a way, the Kızılelma represents our nation’s independence and sovereignty in the skies. So we’ve presented a flight-ready prototype at Teknofest to our nation – before it hits the sky. The Kızılelma has met our nation in Samsun, where our war of independence started, on an important day for us.

And for the opening speech, please welcome Mr. Selçuk Bayraktar, President of Teknofest! Let's give it up for Mr. Bayraktar! Dear participants, We are witnessing one of the most important days in our history together. 100 years ago, on this very day, the mighty Turkish nation, refusing to live under occupation, rescued the country from enemies, chasing the flame of independence that began to shine in Samsun.

And to take this opportunity, once again I commemorate the leader of that war, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and his comrades-in-arms, as well as each member of our nation that sacrificed their lives for our country, and all of our veterans and martyrs who passed on to a greater beyond, with mercy and gratitude. If I were to summarize Teknofest’s mission in one sentence, it would be:"Let a child come and touch an aircraft." Thousands, tens of thousands of kids, even the most disadvantaged kids have thus come here and touched the Kızılelma. When you look at the journey of humankind in aviation and the lives of the people that develop the technology and conduct scientific research, you spot such moments in their personal past. Perhaps their father took them to a museum and they were really impressed by it. Or perhaps they were taken to an aerospace expo or an air show.

And then you see that child pursuing their dreams and passions, and launching their country’s aerospace program. Therefore, touching the people, especially their hearts, is quite important. My father bought me model airplanes when I was very young – from abroad and even once from France, if memory serves. Model airplanes. He was also passionate about aviation.

He used to jokingly ask: "If even the goose can fly, why shouldn't the Lazs?” We’re from the Black Sea region, a coastal region of Türkiye. He would say that a lot. He was a deeply curious engineer. My older brother will tell you about my father's passion.

My grandfather was a fisherman and my father was a fisherman’s son, but he was a curious kid. For example, he examined Russian intelligence devices tangled up in fishing nets in the Black Sea, and turned them into radios when he was a child. There are many such stories about my father.

A curious person. He also was interested in engineering and machinery. He studied mechanical engineering at Istanbul Technical University. After graduating, he worked at various companies and institutions. Eventually, he started his own business with a single electric drill. He used to tell us that he was 30 or 35 years old when he started.

Initially, he set up shop in Istanbul´s Bayrampaşa district to manufacture automotive parts domestically. He started with just one electric drill. Over time, he added a turning lathe and a milling cutter to the set. That way, we could manufacture standardized parts very precisely. Our customers began to say, when it came to quality control, that "If Baykar made it, just add it to checked basket." My older brother had this side of his, that he always accomplished what he set his mind to.

He had some experience in aviation because he had an amateur pilot license from THK. He was the reason behind Selçuk's interest in aviation. You must've seen the pictures.

He put Selçuk on a plane and flew over Samandıra, Istanbul during the pilot training. We even performed stunts in the air. Loops and turnover moves, etc. I memorized everything, naturally. I mean, all the gauges and controls and what they're for.

So, once your feet cut off from the ground, aviation becomes a passion for you. And when it does, it never leaves you. I was 8 years old. If you asked me for a list of what I remember from that age, this would possibly top my list. And the other one is from Azerbaijan, where I flew aboard a MiG-29.

Well, that was when I was 42 years old. During the formation flight with Akıncı. I even took control of the aircraft. Those memories, of course… If our lives consist of moments, these memories would be at the top of my list. Selçuk has the same go-getter side as my older brother.

When he takes interest for something, he studies and learns Even the most intricate details of that subject. Just like my older brother used to. Selçuk was 7 or 8 years old when 64K computers like Sinclair and Amstrad came out. Selçuk began to work on those computers, eventually hacking and repurposing them. One of the most interesting stories goes like this: I built a mechanism to wake up for the dawn prayer.

I built a mechanism by repurposing parts from the servomotor of my model airplane and building a circuit. When the alarm went off, the mechanism would spill water on me to wake me up. Almost like a trap. This is an interesting story. Such experiments help you internalize and conceptualize what you learn in class.

Because you can see math in action through physics during experiments. I was quite interested in math and physics in high school. I was good at them.

I was among the best students in my class – the very best, sometimes. I graduated in 1997 and got into the Electronics and Communication program at Istanbul Technical University. I was working at our company and studying at the university at the same time.

I was trying to innovate at Baykar, in the machining industry. Later, I was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania for graduate studies, to work on unmanned aerial vehicles again, of course. The helicopter has landed.

Very nicely. It went a little... Later on, as Selçuk was specializing in unmanned aerial vehicles in the US, Mr. Özdemir took it upon himself to do it.

Selçuk was getting his master’s degree in the US . He received scholarships from UPenn and MIT to pursue graduate degrees there. My father was taking a break from his work at the time. Afterwards, my father and I talked about what we could work on next. We were already interested in aviation and model airplanes and Selçuk was completing important projects in that field. Upon Selçuk’s return, we started developing projects together.

We're talking about something like a model airplane, of course. We started working in the early 2000s – 2003 to be exact. We had a team of 7-8 people, Or perhaps 10-12, counting everyone. It was a small, flimsy airplane. A model airplane. We used to work evenings and nights. I mean, we always had visitors during the day.

Our friends and such. Think of it like some kids in the neighborhood building an airplane. It had a vibe like that. How long has it been? 20 years? Yeah, it was 20 years ago. This plant is where we conduct all of our R&D works. The concept is called “Living Office.”

The other engineering fields related to manufacturing are in the other plant. Think of this as a place where software designs, mechanical designs, aerodynamic designs are made. This is where all the electronics are designed. This place is exclusively for R&D works.

We've just moved here. They call it a Living Office. A plant with all the recreational facilities. It has two swimming pools, gyms, rooms for social activities, spaces for living and accommodation.

It also has facilities ranging from Turkish Baths to spas. We have a huge auditorium. It's a work of modern architecture. This plant was designed while my late father was still alive. It took nearly 3.5 years. It's quite large. It's huge.

Now we have 3500 people working here. The average employee is 27 or 28 years old. There are 1200 engineers. We have team members from 13 or 14 different fields of engineering.

Now the Bayraktar TB2 is the most famous brand in the world. Its recognition rate is five times higher than the closest competitor across the world. While production continues, We are developing new projects. We're counting down the days to the Bayraktar TB3's maiden flight.

Honestly, the Kızılelma has always represented the peak of this journey. Had you asked me 20 years ago what I wanted to build in terms of an unmanned aerial vehicle, my answer would have been the Kızılelma. There's a prototyping area downstairs. The only space here that acts as a hangar. It's small though, not quite big.

The final tests of the Kızılelma will be conducted there. Following the tests, we'll move it to the flying field. To Çorlu, again. We'll be working on it in here until we move it to Çorlu, treating it as if it were a baby in an incubator. You can think of that area as a final incubator, just before the birth. As you know, the Akıncı is… Come here, darling.

-You can film her. -They're going to film me, dad! Come. They're not filming you! Come on. -Come here. -Tell them not to film me! Dad!

My wife and daughter visit me occasionally. They visit a couple of days in a week. They don't leave me alone, thankfully. All of the work done here represents the meaning of life for us in a way.

It feels like our life’s work. And what makes this work all the more meaningful is the purpose it serves. It's that we build it to make our country fully independent and to give it a bright future. The testing ground is over there. The Kızılelma is there right now.

It's getting ready for the first engine start. -Over there. Right over there. -Okay. Final preparations. We were planning to conduct this test flight on a day or two before, but there were some complications, like always.

There were a couple of them, a number of failures. We’ve fixed them. ’We'll start again. We were planning to do it in the morning, or even the day before. The team worked overnight. It's now evening again.

Okay! Okay! This process takes a lot of time. It could take until the morning. It's easier for us to solve technical problems. Because we've repeatedly worked in this field for the last 20 years. We work long nights.

Then we work more long nights, if necessary. It is one thing to solve technical problems. What is actually difficult in Türkiye is to tackle all the other barriers linked to various social and political elements because they are much more complex and harder to overcome. In Türkiye, the challenge is to make this work permanent.

To make aviation history. To create an everlasting history of aviation. Those issues are much harder to crack than technical problems.

They might also emerge in a chaotic way. We can systematically solve technological problems in any field. In every single field. There are 13 different engineering fields. We solve the problems systematically, or work much harder if necessary. We've been doing this for 20 years.

But changing Türkiye's path requires the entire society´s transformation. And transforming people’s minds. It also means transforming the social and political life. Those are the kinds of problems we're still experiencing today. Once you overcome them… Countries make much more progress once they overcome those problems. When they overcome them.

This is the main challenge for us. Twenty years ago, when we mentioned unmanned aerial vehicles, people used to ask us what they were: "It is a pilotless aircraft?” “Is an aircraft without a pilot even a thing?" Keep in mind that we're talking about a smart airplane that can fly autonomously. We're talking about a robotic plane here. The challenge is that we have to venture into a new world full of unknowns. It's like stepping into the darkness.

Society lacks that kind of courage. Same goes for industry stakeholders. That is why those issues are much more challenging.

The most important barriers are in people's minds. So we've always tried to overcome those kinds of barriers. The Bayraktar Mini UAV was our first project.

It was a competitive project without subsidization. There was the following condition: at least one of the aircraft’s main components such as the fuselage, which actually resembles a model airplane, or the flight computer, etc. had be produced domestically. Four companies participated in the competition.

The fuselage is not a critical component. Almost all the companies built the fuselage domestically, including us. But what robotizes the aircraft is the flight computer and the control systems. Baykar was the only company that built them indigenously.

The others outsourced the hardware development. I think it was a crucial milestone in our country, because technologies like this had always been procured through foreign players, through the distributors of foreign companies in Türkiye. In 2004, we participated in this demo with our indigenous technologies, in the fields of software and autopilot systems at that time.

We worked 23 hours a day to complete the aircraft. While we were crashing the aircraft, we were developing the technologies it needed. We even crashed an aircraft the day before the demo. Let me tell you an interesting story about it. This is a good one. The followıng day, until the morning, we tried to– as a team, we tried to reassemble the crashed aircraft at the lobby of a guesthouse, almost without sleep.

And we had to go to the demo field at 8 a.m. It was already 5 or 6 a.m. On that day, I had this feeling, that– The weather was great. The sky was clear. There were no clouds. And the wind was very calm.

Think about it had it rained, or had there been strong winds, the demo would have been postponed. We built the aircraft, sure, but I don’t control the weather. It's the creator of the skies and the weather that controls them, right? That was the first time that we were going to fly the aircraft in front of a committee.

I mean, it was like– We had been working for months – for almost two years, and there was this official committee, consisting of 60 people – a first for us. If you look at the footage from the TAI plant, you would see that we were trying to block the sunlight with cardboard boxes to see the monitors. Our youngest brother was holding the antenna, and someone else was… The look was miles away from professional. Everyone there expected that the machines with outsourced components would succeed, and the one built with indigenous components would fail.

But what happened was the opposite. The domestically built aircraft, equipped with an indigenous autopilot, flew, while the ones built with outsourced components… I mean, you can’t get someone else to do your job for you. That is how they failed. Look, I've created a new flight path and I can make changes on the go.

Make it smaller. I can switch to... I can switch it dynamically.

-Should I send it to the new route? -You can see the analog camera actually, -but the monitor is very… -I can switch to the other route. The altitude is 868 meters. You've seen what we built and did here. We didn't take any money for it.

They received 3 million dollars from the state. Tell them: "These guys built this by themselves. What did you do with 3 million dollars?" -You have to tell them. If you don't… I'll tell them. <i>…you wouldn't be performing your duty.</i> It was in 2005. I could never forget it. It is almost a spiritual thing for me.

I had this feeling, that we could advance greatly in this field and there were endless possibilities in this field. I know the cutting-edge of this technology and the future of aviation, because it's us that build those versions in the US. We're the ones, developing the technology for the cruise missiles. I mean, Boeing, Lockheed and such are huge companies, but we're the ones doing cutting-edge research for them. Türkiye could become the number one player in unmanned aerial vehicles industry within just five years, if projects and initiatives like this one receive due support.

It's quite possible, I'm telling you. Because I'm the one building what is going to be used 10 years later, or people just like myself. They're building it in the US. French, Indian, Israeli or Greek people, you name it.

We are building them together. We could succeed in just five years and it's a great opportunity for Türkiye. Had we failed at a tiny point back then, we would've not been able to advance this far. During the demo flight of the Bayraktar Mini UAV, our own-developed product, had my uncle, Ömer, tripped and fallen, and had the aircraft fallen with him, too, there wouldn't have been a Baykar to talk about today. There were some milestones along the way. And one of those milestones was my older brother winning the competition in Ankara.

It was time to draw up the contract. It took the bureaucracy a full year to make a decision. They refused to decide. Unlike others, we always preferred flying out there instead of the hallways of government buildings. We believed in our principles.

I mean, the righteousness will always prevail over the wrong path… We always know… We always believed that keeping to the righteous path is the greatest power, so we followed our path without hesitation. -Is this one tightened? -Yeah. It looks very nice. Now we've almost completed the task of avionics and mechanical integration. Now the aircraft is ready to be tested with the engine installed.

We're going to start the engine for the first time since installation. Air ventilation is a crucial element here. We have a 7-meter-long air duct in the aircraft. This air duct needs to provide air for the engine properly.

If the engine doesn’t receive air properly, the impellers could be damaged. Moreover, air can reach high speeds within the air duct, possibly creating shockwaves and damaging the engine. This is a huge risk for us. We'd lose the engine if that were to happen. The aircraft would be damaged as well. It might cause the team to lose motivation, so we don't want that to happen.

We're manufacturing high-tech machines, in some regard. Machines consisting of thousands or tens of thousands parts. When so many parts are involved, the product tends to be more fragile from an engineering standpoint.

According to safety and reliability standards, we need to design the aircraft in such a way that only one catastrophic incident can occur in 100 million hours of flight. When your aircraft consists of so many parts, it becomes harder to meet those standards. We don't expect excessive vibration, right? No, we don't abi(Older bro. in TR). We'll record the vibration data, by the way. I don't think the vibration would be excessive.

Tell me the tire pressure. -220. -Now, this is an important part. You see this? I'm going to refer to this part frequently.

This is a critical component in aviation. The chock is doing its job very well. It's an almost excellent machine, consisting of the least number of parts. It does its job so well that the aircraft can’t move a single inch you place it in front of the wheel. The supposedly great chain just breaks.

If you and society don't know how to remove such chocks and barriers you can never build an aircraft or make history in aviation. It's quite important, we should know that. Removing barriers is more important that this whole aircraft. So that we won’t fail as we did in the past. This is more important.

To make sure that history won't repeat itself. This is much more important for us. We're going to build this and future generations will build spacecraft. They will develop more advanced technologies, but if they can’t remove the barriers, they won’t accomplish anything at all.

Just as it has been for centuries. When you look at the history of humankind, it was those civilizations that could remove the barriers that flew in the sky and travelled to space. That's the important thing. There were barriers throughout history. It's about removing those barriers Because, from an engineering standpoint, the product we build here is an engineering marvel, really.

The tricky thing is removing the barriers. Not just technical or technological barriers but also social, cultural, political and legal barriers. It's about removing all of them.

Let the chocks be the main theme of this documentary. We started working on prototypes in 2019 with the Akıncı. Most of the teams gained experience since then. There is a high chance of fire breaking out during the test. There is also a high risk of the cables failing to keep the aircraft in place. Some people have to stay within the test cell.

Everyone is required to stay in the test cell and in the room. I'd appreciate it if you don't leave the test cell and the room. Assume positions. We'll run a final FOD check. And then we'll kick it off. Okay? Get ready, everyone.

Please be mindful of the zone of aeration, guys. The team is in position. The perimeter is secure. Ready for the start. Switch to blue. The firefighters are in position. -The weather is clear. We're good to go. -We'll make a dry start.

We'll push the throttle up to 70 percent. The revving is constant. Why? There is a warning. Power alarm. EGA battery alarm.

FC battery alarm. Communications alarm. Was the engine starter off? -On the side panel. -It's on, abi(Older bro. in TR). Throttle slider off. It didn't fire up. The sequence didn't start. It gave a warning.

Engine ignition sequence didn't start. Hi. It's not too important. The maiden flight is not something unachievable. Yet, we need to recheck and make sure that we didn't make any quality control mistakes. We have failure in the engine starter system. We're suspecting of a line, a falsely wired line.

One of the lines or the signals inside must have been wired falsely. That's the probable reason. We have to open the box. And then… And then we need to run quality checks again, and we need to reassemble the aircraft. It might take a couple of hours.

The team guessed it would take half an hour but I'm suspect it will take longer. This process tests your patience in a way. Patience leads to success. It's a patience test between us and the elements preventing the flight. We'll persevere and start the engine, and then fly the aircraft.

This is a tough process. We're not strangers to working on Sundays. Our working hours sometimes extend to Sundays. We're not strangers to aircraft starting on a Sunday, the most precious part of the weekend. I think that's what she wants. She wants us to stay with her on Sunday, that's why she didn't start.

It has always been like this. It's not common in the other parts of the world, but our aircraft do it. They want to fly outside of the working hours. It became a habit for them. I don't know if it’s us or them, but we have lots of memories from the past, Where we kept working outside of business hours and not under normal weather conditions. In the terror-affected areas, there is no such thing as business hours for terrorists.

Nor for members of the Armed Forces. After all, you need to be alert at all times. There are no such things as working hours, off-days, weekends in terror-stricken zones. After building the prototypes of the Mini UAVs, as a team, we went to Akçay, Şırnak, where the 6th Commando Brigade is stationed, to test the prototypes on the ground. Southeastern Anatolia was not so stable back then. Mined roads, Soldiers and civilians killed in explosions, etc.

Did they tell you the details? Köseoğlu knows about it. I was the Chief of Staff at the 6th Commando Brigade in Akçay, Şırnak, when I met the Bayraktar family in 2006. I had moved there from Islamabad, where I served as an army attaché.

Mr.Özdemir was already in Akçay when I was assigned there. He had left from his villa by the Bosporus and arrived in Şırnak. He had a helicopter. They had Malazgirt type helicopters, not fixed-wing mini UAVs back then.

He was still trying to build it. The terrain is far from ideal, you can't land an airplane there. So we had to build a vehicle that could take off and land vertically.

We started working on the world's first mini-class unmanned helicopter, Malazgirt, in 2005 in Şırnak. We set up a workshop in Şırnak by ourselves, not as part of any ongoing projects. General Hasan Iğsız was commanding the 2nd Army at the time. He dispatched the Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Yaşar Bal, to examine what was going on.

He was with Brigadier General Ömer Faruk Küçük, who was still a colonel then. I was the Director of Plans and Operations when General Iğsız summoned me. He said: "Faruk, there is a trial underway in Akçay. Go and watch the test on site. And if we need to see this test for ourselves, let us know so that we can see it on site." There is a battalion stationed atop the Gabar Mountain called the Seslice Battalion.

Mr.Özdemir went to the battalion by land that day to fly the aircraft. Out of 600 bases, Seslice was one of the most dangerous . And it's located in the highlands of Şırnak. We were testing the helicopter on the way back from Seslice. It's at the top of the mountain, and the road goes down that mountain with many twists and turns.

Our truck broke down there. And the soldiers took positions right away. Because we were in the middle of the valley and there was no phone signal. We were off the grid. There was no radio signal either. The engine wouldn’t start and the sun was about to set.

It was like... It was like a perfect place for terrorists. We had already lost a district governor in that region in the past. I couldn't reach Mr.Özdemir. I couldn't reach him by phone. I was worried that something might have happened to them. Eventually, I was able to reach him via the radio.

It turned out that the truck had broken down on the way back. Mr.Özdemir, a mechanical engineer, had fixed the truck. He gave some advice to the team fixing the diesel pump. General Yaşar personally witnessed that people were dedicated and took some serious risks for this project to succeed.

Despite his age, he was able to do it all. I'm not just referring to Mr.Özdemir here. I'm also talking about Selçuk. He was very young back then. To work on the project, they were on that mountain – a place other people could never dare to go to. It wasn’t something that every brave fellow would dare to do. Did you see how it landed? It's thanks to the hard work of the Armed Forces and the utilization of this system.

You guys worked much more than we did. This achievement belongs to you. That's how we see it. For me, this as an opportunity– as a way to serve my country. My service in the army was short. Short-term military service. -And you're completing your service now? -Well, let's say I'm trying to.

Alright then. We can start the flight if you allow me… I'll explain the situation in plain language. There is a huge area with mountains and forests. Let’s say you want to control that land. How did we control it until now? We used manpower.

Now, we've started to control the area with UAVs. And we control the area from above. That is a huge superiority.

Our goal is to keep our soldiers and our people alive. We were trying to find terrorists with the help of these aircraft, instead of deploying soldiers to the field directly. That was our aim. We took some risks though.

We're talking about visiting military bases near the country’s borders as civilians. They wanted to go there to fly and test the aircraft. As a matter of fact, Selçuk even crossed the border with the troops.

He flew those helicopters at bases near the borders –even across the border. I'm talking about places far from ideal. But I didn’t send Mr.Özdemir to those bases, to protect him. "Let me go to the bases in the border region. Why don't you allow me?" he said. I told him "Mr.Özdemir, you're not a soldier. People can notice from a mile that you're not a soldier because you have a moustache."

In one morning, he came to me. He had shaved his moustache. "Now I don't have a moustache" he said. 6TH MOTORIZED INFANTRY BRIGADE COMMAND You can only understand the soldiers' needs if you live with them under the same roof. You can only understand what they feel if you live with them. Expectations were high, and with that helicopter, we joined the troops in various missions, providing them with training and support in the field. The soldiers took notes and prepared reports during the missions.

We received feedback from the soldiers. That was when we met Lieutenant Colonel Melih. When I was the Chief of Staff, Melih was the Chief of Logistical Support. Commanding the logistical support troops means that you're in charge of all the logistics and supplies.

He was full of life. During the project, we were in Şırnak. I'm talking about a deprived area. There were many technical shortcomings, too. Lt. Col. Melih supported us.

He helped the team with all the problems, like fuel support, providing them with flying fields, building runways for them, etc. He was the man behind all these initiatives. So, he and Mr. Özdemir were very close. I remember that we had some pleasant conversations occasionally. I was a research assistant at MIT back then.

Think about it. I would go from Boston to Şırnak during the winter or summer breaks and tested the aircraft on the ground. We had some good memories.

He devoted himself to the project. He always tried to help as much as he could. But… …one day we lost him in an IED attack. There is a village called Akdizgin.

There is this road from the military base in Akçay to Akdizgin along the Tigris. We passed away in an IED explosion on that road. Major Ramazan was with him in the vehicle. We lost him, too. This IED must have had a remote controlled fuse called TOL QAZI.

We believe it was involved in the explosion, but we encountered that fuse much later. One day, when we were at the military base in Şırnak, a remote-controlled explosion device was brought to us, which was used by the terrorists. It was unexploded and intact. This is quite an interesting story. I don't know if Selçuk told you about it. As engineers, we were asked to help.

They told us to examine the devices and figure out how they worked. Our troops had radio jammers. Normally, radio jammers could block the electromagnetic transmission. And we started to examine the device.

We disassembled it and noticed that the people that built the device developed a higher tech, encrypted device. Our military’s radio jammers couldn't block the frequencies used by that device. And it was a serial production device. At first it was handmade. Then they started to mass produce the PCBs. They named it TOL QAZİ. It means "the revenge of the Qazi".

We examined the device even further. It took a couple of days. We tried to figure out how it worked and how it delivered the codes. It's similar to challenge and response. First, it transmits the challenge.

I mean, the transmitter sends a sentence. If that sentence… If that sentence is the key, it unlocks the receiver. And after the second sentence is sent, the device explodes. That's how it works. But we had to figure out the algorithm used by the device to generate codes. Selçuk worked a lot on that device back then.

It wasn't simple. It seemed like the work of a professional. The information on its components had been wiped out. We didn't know what they were. Everyone went back to their rooms at 4 or 5 a.m.

I was sitting in front of my computer, still working on the device. I was trying to discover a pattern in the code. That night, sometime near sunrise, I finally was able to solve the algorithm and establish the transmission.

the following day, we began to transmit to the receivers seized from terrorists, using the electronic components at our disposal, and developed a system that exposed the codes of all those devices, and enabled the codes to be accessible. I mean, in a way… We developed an antivirus to that virus. We deployed these devices in certain areas and used them while the troops were in their barracks. Lots of mines exploded. If we hadn't defused them, our soldiers passing by those roads might have been killed by the IEDs.

We paused the aircraft project to focus on IEDs, because they were the main reason behind personnel loss. But unfortunately, this system wasn’t used for a long time. This caused quite a stir, because those devices had been seized one year prior.

And nobody had worked on them. They had been sitting on a shelf. That we solved this problem would have revealed the negligence and failure some people so they took away the devices. My father was shocked by what happened. He questioned himself a lot.

He was on the verge of quitting. He came back from Şırnak. He was about to quit and suspend the whole project. Imagine losing troops and cracking the code of the explosive devices seized from terrorists.

You could use them across the board and detonate the explosives without anyone around. But we were prevented from doing that. This was one of a defining moment for my father. He was about to throw in the towel and quite upset. One day, he was at his home, the villa by the Bosporus –about to quit. He received a call from Hakkari.

He picked up the phone. The called says: "This is Aydın Yiğit from Hakkari." I still remember the name. "And?" Özdemir said.

"My commanding officer and I talked, and concluded that we desperately need the mini drones that you were planning to build. And we want to procure them with the profits of the post exchange." That phone call was the main reason why Mr. Özdemir

got back into aircraft projects with the same amount of passion and motivation as before. That was a defining moment for him. He would describe this milestone as: "I was slapped all the way from Hakkari." People we met in the barracks would call us sometimes.

And we lost some of these good people during their services. They are martyrs now. May God rest their soul. Well, to be honest, their memories and souls gave true meaning to this story in a way. And this gave us the strength and perseverance we needed. They were the living examples that answered the question: "Why are we working so hard to accomplish this?" These people and their memories helped us overcome the most serious challenges we encountered during this journey. Alright, here we go.

Everyone should stay out of the field once the FOD check is complete. We'll start it in idle mode and continue after two minutes of runtime, right? Step by step. We're not going to do anything else.

-We'll start it just once, right? -Right. Okay. There is a saying that "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." There is a reason behind all the challenges. Perhaps they help us prepare for even greater challenges. They make you stronger and more resilient, possibly enabling us to truly appreciate our work here.

All those challenges certainly boosted our perseverance and strength. I think they've helped us become more determined and tenacious and added to the strength of our company. The perimeter is secure. The fire brigade crew and the ground team are in position.

The engine is ready to start. How is the fuel pressure? Good. The other team will secure the aircraft, right? The whole testing team, you're with me. Come on. Come on, guys.

That’s a lot of people. Is it okay like this? Let's pose like we do at Teknofest. We successfully completed the airframe-engine integration and starting test. The test was delayed for a couple of days. Some of our colleagues detected a flaw in the wiring last night at roughly 4 a.m.

But today, we managed to complete the first starting test successfully. May this aircraft be a blessing for our nation. If you asked me what makes this technology so valuable, I would say that it's not the body, airframe or the engine. What makes it valuable are the more than 40 computers in it, and the software that we have developed and produced. Talking about aircraft, people tend think of the human-operated aircraft alone. In a way, they might not appreciate our work here more than the vibration engines used in smartphones.

In a sense, we've used all the experience and know-how that we accumulated over 20 years to build the Kızılelma. And it builds on the legacy of the Akıncı. The most complicated systems in this aircraft are the avionics– the electronic components and software.

We can say that by inheriting the Akıncı’s legacy, the Kızılelma, which was yet to fly, was sort of standing on the shoulders of the Akıncı, an aircraft that was perfected and flown and served for thousands of hours. And the Akıncı got here by inheriting the legacy of the TB2. However, since the Kızılelma is the next step and goal for us in the aviation industry, and since it's a dream of 20 years, we've taken yet another step toward that dream now.

It’s Saturday, the 17th day of September 2022, right? Our goal is to fly this aircraft this year, before our republic’s centennial. It's going to be a surprise for our nation, but let's keep it a secret for now, alright? Okay, thank you. God bless you. Have a nice day. When you say that you will accomplish an objective in a certain amount of time, generally, all the elements regarding your objective work in such a way to prevent you from achieving that objective in that time frame.

And since time flows in a single direction, and since you cannot make it go backwards, generally, all the elements related to your objective try make you lose time and postpone your objective. Therefore, it's almost impossible to make up for the time lost once it’s gone. You have to be persistent and unwilling to give up. You must keep going forward. However, that doesn't mean you will accomplish your objective just when you want and just the way you like. TO BE CONTINUED…

2023-05-15 17:53

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